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Turquoise Puya

 

Fuchsia arborescens

Germinating the seeds

 

   If you have germinated other Fuchsia seeds before, you may use the same technique that worked for you.

 When to plant - Plant your seeds when you receive them for the best germination

 Getting started -- Use any small containers or cups that have drainage holes.  Use a well draining soil mix, such as 2 parts potting soil and 1 part perlite.  Any alternate mix is equal parts of coir fiber and perlite, with some slow-release fertilizer mixed in.  Do not add lime to the mix, since the plant likes slightly-acid soil.

 Fill each container without compressing the soil.  Place a seed or 2 on top, and sprinkle a very thin layer of soil on top - just enough to barely cover the seeds, because light helps the seeds germinate.  Add water until evenly moist (but not soggy).

 Until the seeds sprout, ensure that the soil surface always stays moist.  An easy way maintain moisture is to enclose the pots in a plastic dome or bag.  Leave it open a crack to allow some fresh air in.  You may need to drip a few drops of water on the seeds every day keep them moist.

 Keep the pots at about 65-77 degrees F (18-25C).  A little cooler at night is ok, but avoid letting them get above 80F (27C).  I recommend keeping a minimum/maximum thermometer near the pots.

 The seeds should begin sprouting in 4 to 6 weeks, but allow up to 10 weeks for any slow ones to sprout, especially at cooler temperatures. Give your seedlings bright light, but avoid direct sunlight when they are small.  I recommend growing them indoors for at least 2-3 months.  If you have more than one seedling in each container, either snip off the weaker one(s) after 4 weeks or gently transplant them.

Growing onward...

Watering - This Fuchsia likes evenly moist soil, but it shouldn't be perpetually soggy either.  Never let the pots dry out, but don't let them sit in a tray of water either. 

 If your tap water is very high in minerals (or "hard") i recommend using bottled spring water or rain water.

Climate -- It thrives when temperatures are mild during the day and cool at night.  The plant might not thrive if temperatures regularly get above 85 F (29C), and nights are above 65 degrees F (18 C).  In warmer conditions, give the plants afternoon shade, and keep the pot shaded.  The plant can probably only survive a light frost (26F/-3C).  It's best to protect it from freezing temperatures.

 Over about 40-45% humidity is best.  If the humidity drops too low indoors, consider using an ultrasonic humidifier, which you can get at home improvement stores or thrift shops.

Fertilizing -- For the first 6 weeks, it's best to use a liquid fertilizer using a very dilute dose (1/8 strength).  Hydroponic fertilizer works well for this, because it is easily absorbed and complete.  After 6 weeks, you may switch to a granular fertilizer if you prefer.  Choose one with micronutrients, and follow the dosage on the package.

 Pruning -- Feel free to shape it as you wish by removing undesirable branches when it gets older.

Pests to watch for - whitefly, aphids, scale (little lumps on the stems or leaves), mealybugs.  Watch for any bugs that typically affect your other plants.

If you have any questions, feel free to email me. 

Have fun growing them!

- Jeff

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Turquoise Puya

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